IBM Watson Health to tap EBSCO's DynaMed libraries for a combined AI drug information suite

IBM Watson Health is teaming up with library and information services company EBSCO Information Services with plans to merge their digital healthcare-focused offerings into one cloud-based solution platform.

This includes the work of EBSCO’s DynaMed outfit, which provides physicians with peer-reviewed clinical content, guidelines and scientific literature reviews across several specialties and disease topics.

IBM, meanwhile, will put up its Micromedex drug reference database, designed to support provider decision-making, toxicology analyses and therapy management. The objective is to furnish a single, point-of-care clinical decision support solution, dubbed “DynaMed and Micromedex with Watson.”

“Research shows that healthcare provider confidence in clinical decision support comes from knowing the evidence-based methodologies that helped build the content foundation,” IBM Watson Health’s chief health information officer, Anil Jain, said in a statement.

“When clinicians are confident that their clinical decision support is drawing recommendations from accurate and timely information, they are more likely to use the technology to support their care decisions,” Jain said.

"Built on the latest cloud-based technology, we will harness world-class content from DynaMed and IBM Micromedex onto a seamless and personalized solution,” added Betsy Jones, executive vice president for EBSCO Clinical Decisions.

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IBM’s Micromedex and Watson programs employ artificial intelligence and natural language processing with the goal of providing users a conversational approach for searching drug information—similar to Big Blue’s previous approaches in oncology and research. The incorporation of EBSCO’s libraries is expected to provide a solid foundation of knowledge for Watson to parse.

"When it comes to clinical decision support, content is king,” said IBM Watson Health’s general manager of Micromedex solutions, Todd Nolen. 

“Nearly nine out of 10 physicians in the U.S. currently implement electronic health record technology,” Nolen said. “We believe DynaMed and Micromedex with Watson can deliver value and innovation to healthcare organizations, to help enable rapid access to high-quality medical evidence that is essential for clinicians as they work to provide safe and effective patient care within their clinical workflow."

Currently, the two companies expect to make the combined platform available next month, while also continuing to offer their own solutions separately.